Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Senate confirms Alito for Supreme Court

Considering that this was supposed to be a day of triumph, it's not going well. Yes, Brokeback met with its expected success. But the death of Coretta Scott King, whose courageous work after her husband's death helped to ensure that his message of justice extended beyond race to sexual orientation, put a somber tone on the morning, and the confirmation of Justice Alito makes matters worse. Today feels oddly like the high-water mark, as if the tide is now going to turn against equality.

At least Democrats were mostly united in their opposition to Alito, with 40 of them voting no (joined by Vermont independent Jim Jeffords and Lincoln Chafee, the lone Republican to vote no). When Alito starts saying that the Constitution gives Bush the right to join random Americans for dinner and prosecute them for the quality of their mashed potatoes, as well as read the back of the recipe card to check for signs of cooperation with terrorists, Democrats will be able to point to the fact that they strongly opposed him.

Yeah, that's not really enough comfort for me, either. But it's all we've got this morning.

No Alarms, No Surprises

2006 Academy Award Nominations

The big headline on all the major news sites this morning, besides the sad passing of Coretta Scott King, is that Brokeback Mountain scored a leading eight nominations for the Oscars. Nothing shocking there; it got pretty much what I expected it to get, though I had hoped one of the original songs from the soundtrack would be nominated. I predict it will walk away with four awards, winning picture, director, adapted screenplay, and either cinematography or original score. Anything more would signal a landslide.

The announcement this morning did deliver one surprise of particular note for this site: Munich took the fifth Best Picture slot. This would appear to make premature my declaration of victory last week. I still think Brokeback will outgross Munich--it currently has an $11 million lead--but you never know what a Best Picture nomination will do for a Steven Spielberg movie.

What did you think of this morning's nominations?

Friday, January 27, 2006


Poison Justice Stevens, Coulter jokes

Apparently Ann Coulter got the memo from Alberto:
"We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens' creme brulee," Coulter said. "That's just a joke, for you in the media."
Joke or not, is there any question why we with scruples think Ann Coulter is a filthy bitch?

Very Very Kerry

Alito filibuster? ‘Not likely,’ Democrat says

How very typical of John Kerry! I was shocked, at first, when I saw the big red bar on CNN.com yesterday announcing that he would attempt to mount a filibuster against Sam Alito. Of course, this is what the Democrats should be doing if they really believe he's unfit for the Court--which his positions on issues of executive power alone should make him--but to call for the filibuster now is silly. Oh, and how typical: Kerry did so from Switzerland, where he was at Davos, a conference of the rich.

None of this is to be taken seriously, mind you: He knows he doesn't have the votes, and Democrats secretly know that the best thing that can happen to them between now and 2008 is a radical decision or two by the Supreme Court after Alito gets on without their votes. How else can they prove to the public that it's better to have Democrats making these kinds of decisions?

What this is really about, of course, is that Kerry can't give up on the notion that he should run for president again. The media has been running around with the "Hillary can't win" meme for a few weeks now, and he sees it as an opportunity to remind people that he's still ready to report for duty--and still has an e-mail list of millions to get his campaign going.

But the fact that folks are souring on Hillary doesn't mean they'll turn to Kerry. They share the same downsides--wishy-washy positions, long Senate records, and awkward public personas--but in each case Kerry's are worse. Plus, the public got to know Kerry, and it said no. Even though folks have since seen how bad Bush has been, they'd probably still pick him again if Kerry were the alternative.

So do yourself and the party a favor, John: Promise your e-mail list to whomever wins the nomination, and kindly bow out of the race for '08. You can even give a speech at the convention in prime time, OK? Please?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Cultural Touchstone

Film Spurs Culture of Gay Cowboy Jokes

In the continuing effort to talk about Brokeback Mountain constantly, it's time to start talking about its cultural impact. You can see a lot of it in the article linked above, which includes movie posters based on the now-familiar pair of cowboys against a Wyoming landscape that feature Bert and Ernie and the characters from Masters of the Universe.

Another, more risque chronicle, found here, includes other parodies, among them one for Kickback Mountain featuring Tom DeLay, Jack Abramoff, and the tagline "Greed is a Force of Habit," and another, Dumbfuck Mountain, that switches out Jack and Ennis for Bush and Cheney. (Cheney's the bottom, in case you were wondering.) And, of course, there's Pokeback Mountain, featuring Gumby and Pokey and the tagline "Love is a Force of Pudding."

As the article points out, all of this is a sign that Brokeback has entered the culture and has a great chance of Oscar success: "Beyond the box-office boost, such attention also bodes well for Brokeback's Oscar chances in a year where heavy issue-centric contenders reign. Heard any good Munich jokes lately? Didn't think so."

Hopefully folks who are actually seeing the movie are remembering its impact more than all of these parodies do, though. It would be a shame if a movie that quietly makes plain the obstacles that face gays and lesbians were out-shouted by those who see it as just another way to make fun of Bush and Cheney.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Power Play

The Power-Madness of King George - Is Bush turning America into an elective dictatorship? By Jacob Weisberg

I'm not saying that Jacob Weisberg is overreacting to the recent document from Alberto Gonzales and the Department of Justice that asserts that the present and never-ending war on terror "'places the president at the zenith of his powers,' giving him 'all that he possesses in his own right plus all that Congress can delegate.'" Far from it; Weisberg is right to assert that the wiretapping and the torture and the permanent detention without a warrant or a hearing or a stated reason constitute activity that is downright un-American.

But he misses the larger, and ultimately American, human interest story here: Alberto Gonzales isn't merely the handmaiden of a power-mad president obsessed with wiping out a bully who once sucker-punched him. He's that handmaiden on a quest for a promotion, and there's nothing more American than being willing to do and say anything to get a better job, right? This whole Constitutionally-challenged document can be seen as Gonzales' bet that John Paul Stevens just can't cling to the armrests of his chair at the Supreme Court for another three years, and will either die or retire before Bush leaves office, opening up a seat for Gonzales to warm for a few decades.

Maybe he's been tapping the phones at the Supreme Court?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Programming Notes

UPN, WB to Shut Down; New Network Formed

In my house, this has nothing but upside for shows that used to be on UPN; because it's not on Comcast's high-definition package, we don't watch anything on WPWR (Chicago's UPN affiliate), but we will watch shows and sporting events on WGN, which will be Chicago's CW affiliate. Not that I've been dying to watch Veronica Mars, but now I might at least give it a shot. Especially if it's on right after Everwood...

In other news, it's been a while since I marked an Amazon.com milestone, but I think this one is suitably odd: Today, I received my 666th helpful vote. See for yourself here, and feel free to liberate me from my fire and brimstone prison.

The devil's vote was for a review I wrote regarding one of two books I've finished recently, Dog Days. It wasn't as bad as some reviewers claim, but it wasn't the world's best book, either. Still, I had to give Wonkette a chance, right? Read my review for more thoughts.

The other book was Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business, which though written in 1984 offers a stark assessment of how TV changes the way we think that remains relevant today. It's too bad Postman died in 2003, as a follow-up regarding how the Internet will change and is already changing public discourse would be useful and interesting. The basic argument he makes is that the way TV works as a medium has utterly changed what we consider important, how we think about history and the present, and how we expect to be provided with information. "Entertain me!" we cry, because that's what TV has taught us to expect, Postman argues--and as a result we are (unknowingly and unconcernedly) forfeiting all the things about being a print culture that made us strong thinkers and problem-solvers. It's a fascinating and well-written tome, quite short, and you can pick it up cheap. You won't regret it. (I, however, note with regret the irony that I had to promise that a book would be entertaining, rather than informative, in my attempt to convince others to read it; it's an irony you'll better appreciate after you read the book!)

Palpable Discomfort

Andrew Sullivan | The Daily Dish: Bush on "Brokeback"

Andrew Sullivan (in his new space at Time) links to video of Bush being asked, yesterday, whether he's seen Brokeback Mountain. This is not a man comfortable talking about gay men. Why the public thought it was worse that Kerry considered it no big deal to talk about a lesbian is still beyond me.

There Goes the Continent

Canada's Conservative Party wins election

At least they didn't get a mandate. That's the only good thing I can say about this result, which signals that our enlightened neighbor to the north is starting to dance to the inharmonious tune we've been playing the last few years.
The Conservative victory ended more than a decade of Liberal Party rule and shifted the traditionally liberal country to the right on socio-economic issues such as health care, taxation, abortion and gay marriage. Some Canadians have expressed reservations about Harper’s views opposing abortion and gay marriage.
I suppose it's good that they "expressed reservations," but they're still going to let Harper run the country, no? This will be a big test: Once gay marriage is "done," can it be undone? Or will the populace resist?

Monday, January 23, 2006

We Have a Winner

Highway 290 Revisited: Recant

Ten days after my "bold" prediction that Brokeback Mountain would outgross Munich, I'm declaring victory. As of Sunday, Brokeback had raked in $42 million, while Munich was slowing down at $38 million. Barring a shutout for the former and a very unexpected sweep for the latter in next week's Oscar nominations, it appears clear that the cowboys will ride well beyond the $50 million mark, perhaps threatening the triple digit threshold, while Spielberg's Israeli avengers could stall out as millions of Americans wait for the DVD.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not gloating that Spielberg failed. I want to see Munich. But it's sweet to see Brokeback do so well. With its win this weekend at the Producer's Guild of America awards, it looks even more like the movie to beat.

Did anyone see it over the weekend? (Jon, I'm looking in your direction.) What did you think?


Bush to Take Unscripted Audience Questions

What does it say about the terrible road we've traveled these last five years that this is considered news?

Sunday, January 22, 2006


NBC Cancels 'West Wing' After 7 Seasons

Well, it's official. In less than four months, The West Wing will be no more.
The decision to cancel it was made before actor John Spencer, who played former presidential chief of staff Leo McGarry, died of a heart attack Dec. 16, said Kevin Reilly, NBC entertainment president.

"There's a point when you look at the ratings and say, it feels like it's time," Reilly said.

The series finale will be May 14, preceded by a one-hour retrospective. The campaign to replace the fictional Josiah Bartlet as president will be settled, NBC said.

Producers Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme, who created the show and guided it through its early years, will not be involved in the finale, Reilly said.
Too bad about that last bit; I had hoped for at least one more episode that included Sorkin's wit and style of dialogue.

Requests for the remainder of the series:
  • Give Josh and Donna's nine-year-long saga some kind of closure.
  • Let us find out what happens to Charlie and Zoe. Were they even at the big White House wedding?
  • Give us at least one more C.J.-Danny scene--last week's scenes were splendid!
It was a good show, but it's time to put it to rest. Here's hoping they do it right.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Changing Minds

Chick-Flick Cowboys

This article from Newsweek is very meta about keeping the Brokeback media frenzy going, duly noting (almost as an excuse for itself) that while it may seem like people have been talking about the movie forever, it's only today that it will move into somewhat wide release, hitting nearly 1,200 screens and a number of new suburban markets. (A glance at the ad in this morning's Chicago Tribune confirms this: the movie is playing in just about every multiplex now.)

The article also notes that the strategy of focusing on women as the main audience for the film is working, with the film's ascent to the top of the box office this week mentioned. All of this is fine and dandy. Here's what I don't get: After noting that women are still having trouble getting men to see the movie, and that even such liberals as Larry David have expressed reservations, the article pulls out this show-stopper: "If those in the so-called cultural elite (like David) have trouble seeing a gay love story, does the film have any hope of changing nationwide attitudes on gay relationships?" While it offers the standard mainstream media "on the one hand, on the other hand" conclusion, the argument against change is the one you walk away from the article believing.

I don't buy it. I think many of the women who are seeing this movie have always been somewhat tolerant of gays and lesbians, but never terribly concerned about their plight. Brokeback should open up their hearts and minds to stories they would never have heard before, of couples who suffer because they can't marry, of survivors who are forced to sell the house because a bigoted cousin challenges the will leaving everything to a same-sex partner and wins. It should cause them to think a little differently about politicians who oppose protections for same-sex couples. And aren't women more than half of all voters?

I know this is just a movie, not a social movement. But honestly, how could anyone who cries over the pain Ennis feels at the end of the film not want to help others like him avoid a similar fate? How can they not be changed?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Ascent Complete

Daily Box Office - Tuesday, January 17, 2006

It hasn't passed Munich yet, though with only $1.7 million to go and Oscar glory yet to come, I believe, as I predicted on Friday, that it's inevitable that it will. But Tuesday, Brokeback Mountain did something more remarkable: It won the day. That's right--no movie made more money at the box office Tuesday than Brokeback Mountain.

This just might have something to do with its sweep of four big awards at the Golden Globes Monday night. Still, to finish first for the day while playing in only 683 theatres, compared with 2,222 for weekend champ Glory Road, bodes well for my favorite cause of the season.

Have you seen Brokeback yet?



OK, not really. But at least we get some idea of who the writers thought the killer would turn out to be: Samantha and Will's daughter, whose conception is part of the plot of the very first episode, the finding of whom occupied the second, and the caretaking and eventual kidnapping of whom occupied several more. It makes sense that this girl would bear a grudge against her mother, who gave her up for adoption, then tried to find her, then sent her friend to babysit for her so she could see her, then helped kidnap her away from her adopted father after he and the babysitter had a falling out.

I still have many questions about the show: Did Samantha ever actually tell Will (or Craig) the truth? What happened to Detective Marjorino? The last scene ever shown had him being hit by a car--who was driving?

But we'll never know; even the four episodes that were already filmed don't appear likely to see the light of day. Fox claims it plans to continue to try shows that are ambitious in their serialized storytelling, as Reunion was. I, for one, don't plan to give the network another chance to pull the plug on me.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Same Old Song

‘Idol’ returns as winter comfort viewing - American Idol

Can it really be? It seems like we just finished with a season of American Idol, and yet it's back again starting tonight.

This season is supposed to be snarkier than seasons past, with promises that we'll see the aftermath of the judges' fights with one another and that the contestants won't be so insanely nice all the time. Besides Scott Savol, when can you remember one contestant trashing another? Supposedly that will happen this season.

But the bigger changes for my viewing of the show are personal. Tonight, for instance, I won't be plopped in front of the TV at 7:00, and I won't be checking to make sure a VCR is recording it. Our DVR knows what to do, and it's been ready and waiting for Idol for two weeks now. A two-hour premiere episode will be watched in about 75 minutes starting around 9, thanks to the miracle of zooming through the commercials. We may even have time to watch Boston Legal before I go to bed.

Truly, these are splendid times.

Runaway Gay Train

'Brokeback Mountain' Wins 4 Golden Globes

If last night was a preview of the Oscars, it's going to be the gayest night that already-quite-gay event has ever seen.

Other than the triumph of Johnny Cash, gay was the story of the night. Beyond the four awards for Brokeback Mountain, including the three that point the way to Oscar glory--best drama, best director, and best screenplay--Felicity Huffman in Transamerica and Philip Seymour Hoffman in Capote established themselves as the acting frontrunners for playing a transexual and a gay man.

And don't forget about Marc Cherry, whose series, Desperate Housewives, took home the TV comedy trophy.

It was a funny night, with highlights including Hugh Laurie's picking names out of his pocket to thank, Steve Carrell reading a speech he claimed his wife had written that thanked her more often than it thanked other people, and Geena Davis making up a story about a little girl who was inspired by her role as the first female president. The worst moment of the night? While many of the intro segments for the film clips were terrible--and I don't understand why they show trailers for the films rather than actual snippets from them--Dennis Quaid's apparent ad-lib, "rhymes with chick flick," in regard to Brokeback was the most bizarre thing said from the stage. I've been trying to figure out what he meant--is this a simple case of saying something "rhymes with" when you mean that's what it is, or was he pondering a more tasteless phrase? Dick pic? Stick lick? Hick trick?

Whatever he meant, last night's ceremony was a watershed moment for gays being depicted on screen. One request: When you win again, Mr. Hoffman and Mr. Lee, follow Ms. Huffman's lead, and note the challenges faced by the people whose existences you brought to life on film. All funny and silly stuff aside, hers was the classiest speech of the night, and one winners at the Oscars would do well to imitate.

Friday, January 13, 2006


Tomorrow's Anti-CW Today! - Plus--kf blurbs Brokeback. By Mickey Kaus

Mickey Kaus, whose prediction that Brokeback Mountain would flop at the box office provoked a storm of blog discussion last month, has started the process of walking back his comment and lowering expectations that his predictions (BM flops in the heartland and makes less than $50 million) will actually come true. With the film moving up to the fifth position in the weekday box office this week--despite being in fewer than 500 theatres--even Kaus can see the writing on the wall. And so, in a discussion you can only discover by watching a video on bloggingheads.tv, Kaus talks about all the mitigating factors that might cause the movie to do better than he expected. It's already made nearly $25 million in limited release, he notes, before the anticipated success it will see at the Golden Globes on Monday, the multiple Oscar nominations it will log on January 31, and the possible victories it will see come March 5. $50 million is beginning to look like a very achieveable bar for the movie.

So I'm going to go out on a limb and predict this, instead: When all is said and done, Brokeback Mountain, a small movie about two cowboys in love, will outgross Munich, which was supposed to be this year's stealth Oscar contender and has both gravity of subject and Steven Spielberg to propel it at the box office. You can keep track of Brokeback here, and Munich here. You'll note that Munich, despite being released a few weeks later, has a $3 million lead right now. That's what makes this prediction a bold one. And it's what will make being right even sweeter!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Reflected Glory

Diem certainly living a dream

It isn't often I get to link to an article about someone who was my junior high history partner and ended up marrying my childhood neighbor. Perhaps this will explain to anyone questioning it why, unless they play the Bears in the Super Bowl, I'll be cheering for the Colts this postseason.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Next Step

New Jersey lawmakers pass two gay rights bills

This needs to happen in Illinois.

Last year the state passed a non-discrimination law, which took effect last week, making it a crime to discriminate against gays and lesbians in employment, housing, and other areas. That's great--but it's not enough.

New Jersey's two new laws, assuming Governor Codey signs them, will bring the inheritance rights of New Jersey's same-sex couples in line with those of married couples and ensure that, if they work for any level of government, they will have the opportunity to share health insurance with their partners.

The first change is of vital importance. Nothing is more tragic than losing the one person in your life with whom you share a home and an existence. To compound that loss by making the inheritance process difficult and expensive is cruel. Yet when one half of a gay couple dies, the other half can expect to have his or her claim to their home challenged, and if the claim is upheld, to pay inheritance taxes on property that the couple shared.

I don't expect Illinois to recognize civil unions or same-sex marriages in the next ten years. But reform like this? I think we can, and should, manage to win these basic protections.

Growing Momentum

'Brokeback' Wins 3 Critics' Choice Awards

About halfway through these awards last night (yes, I watched, and yes, Dennis Miller was not the right choice as host) I was convinced that Crash was headed for a sweep of all of the major awards, setting it up as the best contender to knock off my anointed favorite for the Best Picture Oscar that is the ultimate goal of this whole awards-show process. Brokeback had only managed a tie for the supporting actress award, and Michelle Williams's absence made that win seem invisible as co-winner Amy Adams of Junebug prattled on like a schoolgirl. Jake Gyllenhaal had been passed over in favor of Paul Giamatti, and the applause in the room at seeing Philip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote during a clip of Capote made it clear that he would block Heath Ledger from being recognized.

And then, in the final five minutes of the telecast, everything shifted. Ang Lee took Best Director, and refused to yield the stage so the Best Picture award could be presented, starting out by talking about what a good year it was for movies (and calling Philip Seymour Hoffman simply "Seymour") and continuing to thank just about everyone who had anything to do with the production of Brokeback except, I think, Annie Proulx, who wrote the original short story. When Lee finally left the stage, Joel Siegel came out and gave Brokeback the big award, and Lee allowed Diana Ossana, one of the movie's screenwriters, to fumble for words as she thanked everyone who has seen the movie.

You're welcome, Diana.

And to both Diana and Ang Lee: Please, don't forget to thank Annie Proulx for creating this story when you reprise these wins at the Golden Globes, the Director's Guild Awards, and the Oscars, OK?

Monday, January 09, 2006

Misdirected Attention

www.AndrewSullivan.com - Daily Dish

Andrew Sullivan confirms my instinct that even as the media write about whether a gay cowboy movie can find mainstream acceptance (and, considering that the film is playing well in Lubbock, Texas, Sullivan argues that it can), all kinds of boundaries are being crossed on network television. Notes Sullivan, "As for the mainstream, on Desperate Housewives last night, there were three separate graphic scenes of two late-teenage boys french-kissing, waking up naked in the same bed together, and mauling each other's necks. Brokeback is tame in comparison."

Exactly! Housewives showed more skin, gave a more direct shot of the make-out session, and treated the in-bed scene more nonchalantly than Brokeback ever did; the only thing it left to the imagination that the movie made clear was what the two lovers did with one another. But given the state of undress of Andrew and Justin on DH (which was as complete as network TV will ever allow for an underaged male couple), I think we can safely assume that making out and neck-mauling is not the sexual limit of this duo.

So make hay, pundits, with Brokeback, which elevates gay love to the sort of high art only the most educated folks in the country will see. Meanwhile, 25 milion people watched two young men engage in all manner of "sexual deviancy" last night and, when questioned about it, one of the two young men expressed sarcastic relief that his mother hadn't turned into a pillar of salt after witnessing a man-on-man kiss. Come on, religious right! Marc Cherry is practically calling you out! Boycott ABC over this and help DH pass CSI as the number one show in America!

Low Sales Resistance

USATODAY.com - It's a date: 'Brokeback' romance draws couples

Hey, straight guys: Have you see Brokeback Mountain yet? According to USA Today, you should:
The movie has emerged as a test of hipness for straight men, says Andrea Miller, founder of relationship magazine Tango: "The coffee dates after this movie surely are filled with intense conversations that get into areas of vulnerability, and women love that in a man."
While one Utah theatre refused to play the movie this weekend, it was that theatre's loss: The film continues to have the highest per-theatre average gross a month after being released, even as it opens in more and more places where audiences "shouldn't" exist for it.

Larry David suggested last week in the New York Times that he wouldn't see Brokeback because "I'm a very susceptible person, easily influenced, a natural-born follower with no sales-resistance." (He made use of this joke on Seinfeld, you may recall.) But I still think this is a bogus excuse (and I'm guessing Larry does, too):
So who's to say I won't become enamored with the whole gay business? Let's face it, there is some appeal there. I know I've always gotten along great with men. I never once paced in my room rehearsing what to say before asking a guy if he wanted to go to the movies. And I generally don't pay for men, which of course is their most appealing attribute.

And gay guys always seem like they're having a great time. At the Christmas party I went to, they were the only ones who sang. Boy that looked like fun. I would love to sing, but this weighty, self-conscious heterosexuality I'm saddled with won't permit it.

I just know if I saw that movie, the voice inside my head that delights in torturing me would have a field day. ''You like those cowboys, don't you? They're kind of cute. Go ahead, admit it, they're cute. You can't fool me, gay man. Go ahead, stop fighting it. You're gay! You're gay!''

Not that there's anything wrong with it.

Unless you really believe that watching boys kiss might turn you gay (in which case last night's Desperate Housewives has surely already done the trick), it's time to saddle up and see Brokeback. You'll be surprised how much you enjoy it--and how much it affects you:
During filming of the cowboys' final meeting, there was evidence the story would appeal to a broad audience. "Ang suddenly noticed everyone was crying," [distribution chief James] Shamus says. "This was the crew, folks who are just there to do a day's work. Right then, we thought, 'We have something here.' "
If you're a straight guy who's already seen the movie and didn't turn gay, feel free to tell us about it in the comments.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Never Heard of Him

Bound and Gaggled: Misty Memories of Past Priorities - Wonkette

From today's press briefing, via Wonkette:
Q: Second question: The President's speech today at the Pentagon as far as terrorism and fighting terrorism is concerned, do you think that Osama bin Laden is still in -- is running the al Qaeda business?

MR. McCLELLAN: I'm sorry, who?
I hope he was joking.

This actually reminds me of a joke that I will one day play on someone. After being approached on the street one day by two young men on a mission (of the Mormon kind, I think) and being asked, "Have you heard the good news about Jesus?" we realized that the perfect response--guaranteed to cause a combined gasp of horror and twinkle in the eye as they think, for a split second, they've found fresh meat--is simply this: "Who?"

Roping 'Em In

CNN.com - 'Brokeback' leads SAG Award nominations

At this point, it looks a lot like Jon Stewart will be discussing Brokeback Mountain quite a bit when he hosts the Oscars in early March. Nods this morning for Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Michelle Williams, along with a best ensemble nomination, made the film the leading contender at yet another awards show.

Which makes my own revelation this morning all the more frightening: I'll be out of town on business on Oscar night! Worse yet, it's likely the night of a dinner I can't miss, meaning I won't even be able to camp out in my hotel room to watch.

I haven't missed the Oscars since I started watching them the year Driving Miss Daisy won. I watched the night Silence of the Lambs swept all the big awards, and the night Titanic made its undeserved haul, and the night Shakespeare in Love shocked the world and triumphed over Saving Private Ryan. (I actually shouted with glee at that one.) Nothing has messed with my Oscar-watching.

But this will. Thank goodness for the DVR.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

New Jobs

Wonkette's Sex Change

Just because I have a new job doesn't mean everyone should! The news that Ana Marie Cox is giving up her job blogging for Wonkette to write a second book is devastating to me. Who will obsess over baby pandas, bring levity to every Washington scandal, and find a way to work anal sex into nearly every post?

On the other hand, if someone gave me a six-figure book deal, I suppose I'd give up blogging, too.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006



I've been out of the blogging mood lately, so here's something to tide you over. Feel free to take the test yourself and report your results! Here are mine:
Pure Nerd
95 % Nerd, 26% Geek, 34% Dork

For The Record:
A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd.

The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up all of the traits and tendences associated with the "dork." No-longer. Being smart isn't as socially crippling as it once was, and even more so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be replaced with the following label: Purely Successful.


My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on nerdiness
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 26% on geekosity
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 59% on dork points

Monday, January 02, 2006



Thinking of taking advantage of one of HBO's numerous showings of Alexander? Take it from me: Don't do it! I just wasted the last three hours of my glorious break from work on it.

The only comfort is asking whether, when you make a movie this bad, you know it's a disaster while making it, or find out when you see it. What do you think?